HIDA warns of continued trouble for healthcare supply chain

June 21, 2022

According to the latest research released from the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA), medical distributors reported no change in lengthy delays for healthcare products reaching customers, although fewer containers of medical products are now delayed inside the supply chain.

“Shipping delays remain unacceptably high and continue to delay shipments of critical medical supplies,” said HIDA President and CEO Matthew J. Rowan. “Congress and the Biden Administration must take urgent action to ‘fast pass’ critical medical supplies. Without prompt action, this fall and winter may see a repeat of the shipping delays that harmed the medical supply chain last year.”

COVID-19 lockdowns reduced shipping volumes from Chinese ports, leading to fewer containers moving through the supply chain. HIDA members reported a backlog of 7,000 to 10,000 medical containers, a three-month decrease of 22 percent.

Despite lower volumes, medical distributors report an average delay of 27 days for healthcare products to reach providers – no change over the last three months.

As Chinese ports continue a phased reopening, medical distributors expect to see a late summer shipping surge of medical supplies competing for delivery alongside increased shipments of school supplies, Halloween costumes, and holiday toys.

Medical distributors warn that increased shipping volumes will prompt delays of healthcare products coinciding with a spike in cold, flu, and COVID-19 cases in the fall and winter months.

HIDA release